Very Good 1156/1157 LED Bulbs

Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
2,705
Location
New England, USA
Having a few cars with ~35 amp alternators and vintage electrical systems, I have been on a quest for the best LED bulbs, especially for brake lights having tried many. I am also very selective, both for functionality and quality, I wouldn't event try any of the no name ones on Amazon, eBay, etc.

Luckily, for me the vehicles I am using these on have fairly primitive reflectors and lenses; the old Rovers are simple beehive lamps.

These are the best I have found by far; United Pacific LED, with these are close second if you want the flashing brake Pilot Flashing Brake Light

The United Pacific are a quality product, durable (so far), bright on brake, significant difference between running and brake brightness and they fit well. Several of the LED bulbs I tried had envelopes larger than the 1156/7 spec and would not fit in some lamps. Only complaint is that they are a bit bright on running, but the difference between that and brake is enough to compensate.

The Pilots are good if you want the flashing feature, but are a little bit on the orange side of red and the envelope is a bit large just above the base.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
503
Location
Upstate
I've had these in my Barracuda for close to ten years. The surface area of the stop/turn/running light lens is tiny. After seeing an early Mustang on a flatbed with the rear end smashed in, and a nice 442 with a Volvo shoved underneath the rear bumper I knew it was time to do something. These were recommended by a trusted friend. So far so good.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
94
Location
Gaul
I just swapped all the incandescent marker and signal lamps for LEDs in my 1988 Supra. My primary reason was to save power. All those incandescents can burn up over 300W! LEDs knock that down to around 30W. That's much better on the old wiring and my wimpy alternator. I bought all the lamps from SuperBrightLEDs.com, spending almost $200 for the whole set. The fun part was modifying the turn signal flasher so it would work at the low current. I also bypassed my brake lamp failure module because I just can't be made to work given the way my 1157 lamps work.

I will suggest looking at the warranty period. SuperBrightLEDs' products have a 3-year warranty - the United Pacific LED has a 6 month warranty. That says something to me.

What style of LED lamp you get depends somewhat on its orientation in the car. Most of my tail lamps are sideways, but the backup lamps are head-on. Those from LEDTronics would not work well at all in a side-on view.
 

wings&wheels

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
2,705
Location
New England, USA
I just swapped all the incandescent marker and signal lamps for LEDs in my 1988 Supra. My primary reason was to save power. All those incandescents can burn up over 300W! LEDs knock that down to around 30W. That's much better on the old wiring and my wimpy alternator. I bought all the lamps from SuperBrightLEDs.com, spending almost $200 for the whole set. The fun part was modifying the turn signal flasher so it would work at the low current. I also bypassed my brake lamp failure module because I just can't be made to work given the way my 1157 lamps work.

I will suggest looking at the warranty period. SuperBrightLEDs' products have a 3-year warranty - the United Pacific LED has a 6 month warranty. That says something to me.

What style of LED lamp you get depends somewhat on its orientation in the car. Most of my tail lamps are sideways, but the backup lamps are head-on. Those from LEDTronics would not work well at all in a side-on view.
I like Superbright, but for some reason they don't, or at least didn't have a great selection of 1157's. The best, brightest ones they had (36 led IIRC) were good, but failed quickly and they no longer carry them. I find some of theirs a bit fragile also. They do have great service though.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
94
Location
Gaul
Sorta in general, I'm not finding a huge selection of 1157 LED lamps anywhere. Looks like the single-element 1156 was used way more places, including RV interior lighting, so there's a much larger selection.

FWIW, check the lumens rating for brightness, not just the number of LEDs. We have some single LEDs at work that will damage your eyes because they're so bright.

Good service goes a long way for me. I will find out in the next few years how long these lamps last.
 
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